Detecting Banks Grass Mites in Phoenix Dactylifera using Automation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2019-00504
Agency Tracking Number: 2019-00504
Amount: $96,715.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.13
Solicitation Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-006649
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-07-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-03-31
Small Business Information
214 Main StreetRoom 462, El Segundo, CA, 90245-3803
DUNS: 063812229
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Terence Powell
 (424) 205-4277
Business Contact
 Terence Powell
Title: President
Phone: (424) 205-4277
Research Institution
In the United States dates are grown in small desert regions of Southern California and Arizona. In2015 approximately 45000 tons of dates worth nearly $70 million were harvested from 10000acres. The Banks grass mite (BGM) Oligonychus pratensis (Banks) is a major pest of dates. Lossesand control costs for BGM are estimated to be between $1 million and $2.5 million annually inSouthern California and Arizona. Management of BGM centers on a one-time per year applicationof the miticide hexythiozox (Savey®). Because the mites are small and the date palms are tall thereare no sampling programs to determine the most advantageous time to apply the miticide. Theproposed research and development efforts of Rose-Field Inc. offer the use of drones as a solutionfor combating BGM. The complete system will autonomously navigate through the date palmorchard detect infected bunches and deliver Galendromus flumenis (predatory mites) into theinfected date bunches. The predatory mites will eat only the BGM without harming the date fruit.Image detection algorithms integrated into a drone's payload is how the system will detect infecteddate bunches. During Phase I a proof-of-concept system demonstrates the feasibility of the finalsolution.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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